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PhD Career Connections: Academic Clinical Research

Posted by on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 in Upcoming BRET Office of Career Development Events .

PhD Career Connections presents: 

Academic Clinical Research panel
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Light Hall 208


featuring Mallory Hacker, PhD; Tiffanie Markus, PhD; and Courtnee Melton, PhD

Speaker Bios

Mallory Hacker, PhD, Research Instructor, Department of Neurology

Mallory Hacker is a member of the research faculty in the Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University where she characterized a selective neurodegeneration pathway arising from Coenzyme Q deficiency in C. elegans. In her current role, Dr. Hacker leads a group of research staff with a focus on Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Dr. Hacker earned an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) approved by the FDA for Vanderbilt University to conduct a large scale, phase III, multicenter pivotal clinical trial testing deep brain stimulation in early stage Parkinson’s disease. She led all aspects of a multicenter consortium application to the NIH, including scientific writing, budget development, site selection, and protocol finalization. Dr. Hacker also regularly presents research findings at national and international conferences. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has twice funded her work in preparation for the FDA-approved pivotal, phase III clinical trial.


Courtnee Melton, PhD, Clinical Research Coordinator, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Courtnee Melton is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.  In this role she coordinates studies focused on metabolic and hemodynamic determinants of right heart failure in pulmonary hypertension and using non-invasive imaging to understand the relationship between systemic and myocardial metabolism.  In 2013, she received her Ph.D. in Health Outcomes and Policy Research from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  Her research interests include health disparities, health literacy, and patient empowerment. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Courtnee was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at a Health Disparities Research Center at UTHSC.  She left her postdoc a year early because she wanted to take her career a different route which is yet to be determined.  Her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology were completed at The University of Memphis. 


Tiffanie M. Markus, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy

Dr. Markus is the Project Director of the Tennessee Emerging Infections Program at Vanderbilt. Her previous work has focused on a broad range of research topics including psychological neuroscience, recovery of function, oncology, and cardiovascular research. She joined the Emerging Infections Program team in January of 2015, bringing with her expertise in clinical research program management, regulatory oversight, and database design and management.



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